We cater for a wide variety of weddings at the Barton Grange Hotel; each one unique. From huge events for hundreds of guests, right through to planning a smaller wedding and more intimate affairs. These can be couples who are holding weddings in Lancashire for the second time and want a smaller event, usually very different from their first wedding day, to couples working to a smaller budget or couples who simply prefer to invite only close friends and family and want a more relaxed and informal wedding day. Gorgeous weddings in Lancashire do not have to be huge events to be successful and, if you’ve got a ‘boutique’ big day in mind, here’s some thoughts and ideas on styles of planning a smaller wedding and on how you may want to approach it.
First things first, don’t be scared in planning a smaller wedding. We have worked with lots of couples that have the most memorable day on a less-grand scale. It can even be more romantic and personal, as it’s easier to focus on the reduced numbers. The most important thing to do is agree on the budget, make a guest list and decide on the numbers, then you can decide on the style you want.
Smaller weddings lend themselves to so many different styles. Weddings in Lancashire are following key trends in 2017/2018, including an increasing number of brunch weddings. The wedding ceremony takes place around 9.30am/10.00am, and then the happy couple and the guests have brunch in one of our smaller rooms, or even in our Walled Garden restaurant. Eggs benedict, smoked salmon, American pancakes, crispy bacon (locally sourced of course), homemade granola, to rare roast beef, Kedgeree and fresh salad selections – a brunch menu incorporates the best of two meals and brings an extensive choice. Add some fizz or a cocktail, and it really is an elegant meal. This style of wedding suits all the family, children included, and then allows the happy couple the opportunity for an early escape to their honeymoon!
Afternoon tea weddings started to come to the fore last year and again will be popular in the next 18 months for weddings in Lancashire. It really is the quintessential English wedding and is perfect for smaller parties. Add vintage charm and glamour with beautiful, eclectic China crockery and mouthwatering sandwiches and cakes. They too are great if there are lots of children attending and have a more relaxed feel. Some couples do go on to have an evening reception afterwards, but on the whole, the trend is for the afternoon tea to take place and then the proceedings draw to a close.
One of the emerging trends for weddings in Lancashire in 2017/2018 is gourmet dinner wedding receptions; making the most of our exceptional local food suppliers and producers. 2016 was all about informal catering, but this year, there is a growing group of wedding day foodies that are looking for something more in tune with their gourmet palate. A culinary experience is at the heart of the wedding reception. This includes up to 20 guests and involves the happy couple working closely with our chef and sommelier to agree on the dishes to be served, and the various wines and champagne to accompany them. The gourmet dinners can include up to six courses and celebrate the best of local Lancashire ingredients, suppliers and producers. The menu can be personalised to the couple of course, and offers a very sophisticated start to married life!
Remember, the best things can come in small packages, so planning a smaller wedding doesn’t have mean less elegant or stylish!
-Tara Begi, Wedding Co-ordinator
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